Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rocking the boat down the Los Angeles River

As much as I love my adopted city, I still follow the town where I grew up enough to have a label for it, even if I tell my students, "there is a reason the place is called La La Land and it's not just because the initials are L.A."  I'm also interested enough in water for it to have a label, also.  Before this entry, the two categories never intersected.*  With this clip from LinkTV, now they do.

Kayaking the LA: Revitalizing an Urban River

Earth Focus features the film Rock the Boat which follows a controversial kayaking expedition down the partially cemented Los Angeles River, an act of civil disobedience led by satirical writer George Wolfe, whose goal was to have the Environmental Protection Agency declare the river navigable so that it could gain protection under the Clean Water Act. Boating down the LA River became a political movement which lead to changes in federal policy and opened up public access to a long-neglected waterway. With George Wolfe and Thea Mercouffer, film director. Produced in collaboration with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
This would be a great video to show my students, as it connects federal environmental policy, the built environment, water conservation, outdoor recreation, and an environmental movie together.  As I point out to my students repeatedly, everything is connected to everything else, and this video demonstrates that.  Now, the clip is a little on the long side, but I might be able to pull it off next week as an example of how individuals matter.  I'll keep you all posted.

*They could have in Water wars, Detroit style, plus a programming note, as I compared and contrasted Detroit's water wars with California's, but I don't think I had a "Los Angeles" label at the time.  I'm not going to add one to that entry's labels, either.

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